From Runway to Retail: Models Turn Designers
Runway regularsare increasingly becoming go-to designers.Headlined by Kate Moss, who now designs collections for Topshop and Longchamp, a flurry of new fashion and accessories projects between brands and models are entering the market, from Cindy Crawford, whose jewelry line for J.C. Penney Co. Inc. will hit 600 Penney’s stores this month, to Eva Herzigova, who unveiled her fashion line for the Etam-owned French fast-fashion chain 1.2.3.Brands say it’s an image-boosting and lucrative win-win for both parties.(In February, the month that marked the launch of the Kate Moss for Longchamp handbag line, for instance, sales at the French firm’s own stores spiked 25 percent.) See our Model Mania page for more on model hypehnates>>
March Retail Sales Up Strongly
Lifted by a combination of pent-up demand for new fashion, extremely weak year-agocomparisons, warm weather and an early Easter, retailers saw thelargest monthly same-store sales increases of the decade. But whetherMarch’s roar is a sign of resurgent consumer spending or simply astatistical anomaly will be easier to discern this month as retailing’sfirst quarter concludes. One of the factors boosting spending is an “uplifting effect” taking hold on the psyche of some consumers, possibly stirred by the creation of 162,000 jobs last month — the mostin three years. The job picture for youngadults in particular is showing signs of improving, prompting recession-fatiguedMillennials and Gen-Xers to seeka “survival reward,” such as replacing a worn pair of pants or piece offurniture. However, the opposite effect is occuring in Japan, where teens and young adults are facing shrinking budgets for apparel and accessories.
Hugo Boss Sets Five-Year Plan
Product, product, product leads ceo Claus-Dietrich Lahrs’ mantra for success at Boss. Acting on this philosophy, the past year has seen the German powerhousebrand improve and enrich its quality and fashion content, and morestrongly delineate the characters of its nine individual brands, whilesimultaneously scaling back the size, complexity and even distributionof its lines. In an exclusive interview, Lahrs gave WWD a first outline of the company’s strategy through 2015, including growing salesin the U.S. and in Europe and increasing the contribution of company-owned stores to reach a better balance with the company’s wholesale sales. The Internet is another big part of the strategy: On Tuesday, the company unveiled a revamped Web site and e-commerce in the U.S.
Kate Spade Twirl Scent to Bow in Fall
Kate Spade New York is taking another spin on the fragrance floor with a new women’s fragrance called Twirl, slated for a September launch.Another new beauty launch is in the men's category: grooming brand Jack Black is introducing Performance Remedy, a line for avid athletes. In other beauty news, popular online retailer Zappos is going into the beauty biz, carrying a variety of brands such as Stila and Ahava. And young stars Emma Roberts and Leighton Meester dished to WWD Beauty Biz about their beauty routines in this month's issue.
Saggy Pants Billboards Draw Ire and Debate
Over the past two weeks, a series of billboards has gone up in Brooklynneighborhoods promoting an unusual fashion message: Guys, pull up yoursagging pants. The advertisements are the work of New York State Sen.Eric Adams, who has launched a campaign to encourage young urban malesto stop wearing their jeans and trousers so low that it shows off theirunderwear — an erstwhile streetwear trend that started amongst hip-hopfans in the Nineties and long ago expanded into the skater andsuburbandemographics. At the furthest pole from this trend were the buttoned-up, all-American fall collections showcased by Tommy Hilfiger and Nautica this week, which focused on meticulously tailored looks.
Crowdsourcing Catching on With Fashion Pack
Crowdsourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in theform of an open call, according to Wired contributing editor Jeff Howe,who coined the term. Ascrowdsourcing continues to gain force, consumers aren’t just havingtheir say about specific designs –companies arecompensating them monetarily, with prizes, discounts or otherrecognition.Onlinecompanies like Threadless and Made.com have been enabling crowdsourced design of T-shirts and furniture, respectively. More traditional brands like Zero+Maria Cornejo and Risto have also been incorporating crowdsourcing into their designs: for example, the latter has a group of "Risto girls", 50 to 60 women who give their input on designs and try on pieces. And DKNY is hoping to attract a very specific crowd – Yankees fans. The brand has inked a long-term, multifaceted sponsorship deal with the team, which will bring its city skyline logo to a billboard inYankee Stadium, and feature various other programs highlighting thebrand at the stadium.
Q&A: Thom Browne
The designer made his name with the most provocative men’s shows in New York but thissummer, after years of consideration, he is relocating the runway toParis. The designer talks about the change, working with new backer Cross, and his new collection of crystal stemware with Baccarat.
Calvin Klein Heads to China
After celebrations in cities such as Singapore, Los Angeles, Seoul andRio de Janeiro, the Calvin Klein Inc. traveling show is about to hitthe road again, this time to Shanghai. On April 16, CKI creative directors Francisco Costa, Italo Zucchelli and KevinCarrigan, and president and chief executive officer Tom Murry will head to the Chinese metropolis to host an event in the city. CKI already has a strong retail presence in China. Today, there are 100branded, freestanding stores in China; 13 of them are inShanghai. Swedish designer Ann-Sofie Back also brought her collection to Shanghai this week for the city's fashion week, which runs April 8-13.
Condé Nast Lures Carol Smith
The magazine world is always full of comings and goings, but this week marked an unusual number of high-profile media departures. Carol Smith, senior vice president and chief brand officer of Elle Group, is moving to Condé Nast to serve as vice president and publishing director of Bon Appetit and the Gourmet brand, a newly created position at the company. Stacy Morrison, the editor in chief of Redbook, is departing her post due to a family illness. She has been at the title since 2004. Two of Mary Berner’s biggest hires since taking the top job at Reader’s Digest Association — Alyce Alston and Eva Dillon are leaving the company.
Malcolm McLaren, Punk Impresario
Malcolm McLaren, who helped turn the Sex Pistols into a cultural forcecalled punk, and with Vivienne Westwood, created a fashion movement togo along with it, died Thursday at age 64. To call McLaren’s career eclectic is an understatement. He was atvarious times — or at the same time — an entrepreneur, a music promoter, a retailer, a designer and a filmmaker, flitting from onething to the next as quickly as his thoughts poured from his brain. But the idea for which McLaren would be most known would be punk. He managed Adam and the Ants, the New York Dolls, and cult new wave group Bow Wow Wow. Inthe mid-Seventies, he and Westwood operated a shop on King’s Road — Too Fast toLive, Too Young to Die — which had replaced their earlier store on thesame street, Let It Rock. “I got into clothes because of Malcolm,” Westwood admitted to WWD a decade later.See archival images of McLaren dating back to the Seventies>>

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